City Hippy

The diary of our struggle to live a green and fair life.

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Saturday, July 16, 2005

FEATURE: Gotta feel the love!

Recently Sustainablog had a blog-around-the-clock to celebrate its 2nd birthday and to raise money for a great cause.

City Hippy donated a post to Sustainablog...and now we want to share it with you:

We are buying a house and need appliances and furniture.

Keyword: Cheap! Result? Ikea!

ARGH! so uninspired by Ikea...nice ethical ethos but your products are the furniture equivalents of Volvo's from the 80's!

Sadly cheap appliances often means less ethical and energy efficient and cheap furniture generally equals uninspiring and forest murder.

Of course the perfect thing to do would be to get second-hand stuff! But the choice seems limited and poor. We figured that for a couple of hundred pounds more and with research here or here we could have our cake and eat it too.

As luck would have it we were checking out the area we are moving to and stumbled across a shop called GIFT (Goods Imported & Fairly Traded). Their website is under construction @ but you can call them on +44 (0) 1462 483370 (tell Fiona that City Hippy sent you).

They have lovely furniture, gifts, ornaments and clothing...and it all seems to be fairly-traded and sustainably produced. Hurrah!

It means spending more money than we budgeted for (thanks VISA) but we can really feel the love from those bed-side tables and our food will taste sweeter served at our new gorgeous green and fair table!

We can feel the love! We hope you can too!



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At 11:04 PM, Anonymous beev said...

I gotta disagree with City Hippy on this one. I do think second-hand furniture is the best, but IKEA has to come a close second.

The worst thing about them is that they operate these massive, out-of-town superstores that you have to have a car to get to. But nobody's perfect. There is also a lot that's good about IKEA.

For a mass-producer, their environmental policies are way ahead. They might be cheap, but their materials are good quality and often ethically sourced. Also they tend to miss out the toxic chemicals wherever possible. They transport their goods far more responsibly than most companies, cutting unecessary carbon emissions. It is because they understand the meaning of efficiency that they are able to be both cheap and more environmentally friendly than their rivals.

IKEA's stuff is the epitome of good design. Not only do their products last a long time, they do what it says on the tin and they're generally pretty tasteful too. In fact, IKEA have ushered in a whole new era of tastefulness in the UK. People's homes are looking so much better thanks to IKEA, and folk are unwittingly picking up feng-shui tips from studying the catalogue. It's true! British people's furniture sucked until IKEA came along.

Another thing I like is that they have a great variety of stuff, covering all different tastes and budgets. When you need a specific kind of thing for your home, and you're unable to make it yourself, IKEA is the place you're most likely to find it. And what I love the most: the cheapness! IKEA has brought cool, functional, long-lasting furniture to the masses. I love them for that. Nobody else ever did that.

Sure it's best to go find something that's already been made, something with character, something you can adapt or re-paint or ressurect from near-death. But IKEA's pretty cool as well, I think.

I was planning to write a blog on these guys soon. I genuinely like them. Seriously.

At 11:10 PM, Anonymous beev said...

Oops, I misunderstood. I thought you were saying IKEA has a shit ethical ethos!

At 11:49 AM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Hi beev

Hahahaha yeah they have a good ethical policy and we will be buying other stuff from them...still think my volvo comment sticks for me though! But you are right...before IKEA we had nothing good looking to put in our living rooms.

Check this out:

Hahahaha yeuch!

On the other hand...ethical comes before style for IKEA rules!

But those massive stores....shudder! Can't get near 'em on a weekend!

I look forward to your blog...




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